Vijay is the Chair of Sathguru, a global innovation translation organisation having presence in USA, Asia and Africa. Over the last two decade Vijay has advanced academic innovation for high impact delivery within USA and in number of emerging countries by facilitating transfer of such technologies to needy regions and needy communities. His strong engagement with the global private sector and international investment organisations has deepened the academic-industry-investor interface with innovative models of technology transfer from leading academic research organisations. Vijay has played a pioneering role in advancing the technology transfer professional presence in countries such as India by founding and nurturing STEM, the Association of technology transfer professionals. He has been on the Council of ATTP, the Alliance for Technology Transfer Associations bringing to the Council the perspectives of professional body from an emerging economic region. Vijay has held important non-executive or advisory positions in the board of global bodies constituted by the World Bank, WIPO and national governments to focus on technology advancement to markets and occupies independent director role in private global corporations. Vijay is a Registered Technology transfer professional ( RTTP) and a Fellow of STEM. Academically Vijay has been affiliated to Cornell University, leading the Cornell’s international engagement in life sciences in the emerging regions of Asia and Africa.
What experience do you have working on or with a strategic Board of Directors?
Over three decades, I have been fortunate to occupy Advisory/ Statutory board positions in global enterprises/initiatives in public and private sector that are prominently engaged in global development.
Please include a brief description of your volunteer experiences within AUTM.
Actively participated in AUTM Annual proceedings over the last 18 years. Led sessions in Panels and presented in technical sessions. Presented in AUTM Asia multiple times and in other AUTM forums such as webinar. Presently a member of the AUTM International Strategy Committee, and Regional Chair for South Asia. Convenor of STEM Annual meetings with support from AUTM (every year over the last twelve years). Past member of AUTM International Advisory Committee for 2 years ( 2008 onwards). Active member of Special interest groups in the past such as Plant Variety, Sustainability.
Why do you want to join the AUTM Board of Directors?
For three decades, I have engaged in academic technology transfer by bringing to private sector the needed innovation in emerging economies of the world. My entrepreneurial contribution in building Sathguru (100 professional TTOs) with global footprint is due to what I have witnessed as the power of academic innovation bringing change and deep impact in countries beyond USA. Globally, I see the role of AUTM in deepening the technology transfer footprint by mentoring professionals in emerging regions and articulating the global impact on account of knowledge transfer. I intend to bring a differentiated perspective in advancing the professional profile and enriching the Association with resources that the private sector and the global development investors can contribute to, with perception change of knowledge transfer as impact creator. I have always perceived AUTM Board to drive strategy. I intend to play a proactive role in augmenting AUTM international strategy.
Have you served in a volunteer leadership role for other organizations? If so, please explain.
I am a founding member of Society for Technology Management (STEM) in India (the TT Association). Since 2005, I have contributed to STEM emerging as sustainable organization for development of technology transfer professionals in the region. I am the Honorary President of STEM. STEM has been nurturing technology transfer profession with strong emphasis on professional development, advocacy, and cross-country linkages for KT managers. AUTM and STEM have forged MOU and AUTM leaders have participated in STEM annual meetings over the last decade. I am a member of the Council for the Alliance for Technology Transfer Associations (ATTP) and active participant in key committees. Over the last four years I have actively contributed to the professional standards development as member of the committees in ATTP. I have contributed to emerging economies to gain TT capacity by delivering training over 20 courses in emerging regions of Asia and Africa.
If elected by the Membership to the Board, would you consider serving as Chair? Please explain.
Certainly. There cannot be better honour when peers nominate me to serve as Chair. There cannot be a better opportunity to serve the technology transfer community.
Please share personal strengths that you believe would be valuable to the AUTM Board and/or the strategic direction of the Association.
I bring in deep academic integrity coupled with private sector drive due to positions I held in my career. My ability to harness thoughts among peers in a differentiated manner is gained due to deep engagement in emerging economies of the world and in shaping initiatives for transformational change. Building organizations further that are already in the pinnacle of glory ( as in the case of AUTM) is a challenge I have addressed in the past with focus on sustainability and growth.
What special experience do you have in driving and implementing a strategic plan?
As Chairman of a large professional technology management firm with over 250 full-time professionals, I stand in the connecting point of the academia and industry. I have led global innovation of academic partners to reach industry far and wide beyond the national reach of the academic institutions. I have held senior academic position in a global educational institution to spread the footprint of the institution to emerging economies. Even during COVID, I was instrumental in supporting enterprises to indigenise vaccine production duly accessing technologies that would provide affordable vaccine to mass communities. The relentless effort for 18 months supported creation of alternate capacities in the world for immunizing communities who could not have access to vaccines domestically. Technology transfer success lies in disseminating products to communities and execution success is vital for envisaged plans to deliver full impact of innovation.
How do terms of the position (both responsibilities and time commitment) fit with your other responsibilities? Will you have any conflicts of commitment between your full-time position and your volunteer time on the AUTM Board?
My responsibility in current employment is focused on steering the future growth of the global footprint of the organization. I am not bound by day-to-day responsibilities but at an overarching level to contribute to the profession. The AUTM responsibilities and time commitment is completely synergic to this goal. I perceive this opportunity to enhance my engagement globally in deepening the professional footprint and to contribute collectively with widely renowned fellow professionals as peers in the Board.
AUTM is committed to addressing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion both on the Board and on behalf of our Members. Briefly describe how your experiences can contribute to the Association’s growth in this area.
Innovation can be a great tool to eliminate inequities and create inclusive economic prosperity. As I have indicated earlier, I have thrived and contributed towards communities that cannot afford to secure a vaccine for COVID secure them at affordable cost with prudent technology transfer. I have led investment from development institutions that have provided the low income economies to secure food and basic health access. I have developed a global technology access strategy for the largest development investor in private philanthropy to secure IP for public good with responsible deployment of innovation for public good in emerging Asia and Africa. Providing access to innovation for all-inclusive application can bring in lasting solution to bridge inequities. Addressing problems of less privileged communities and meeting their pain points can be truly impactful for knowledge transfer professionals.
Advocacy for the innovation ecosystem is something AUTM has promoted recently. How do you think AUTM should continue to be involved?
There is a lot to cheer for the TT community with the introduction of monumental legislations such as CHIPS and Science Act and prior to that the United States Innovation and Competitiveness Act”. This victory would not have occurred without the advocacy of the great cause of Knowledge Transfer to national legislators. Such success can be a role model for professional associations in other countries to highlight what knowledge transfer can accomplish in creating/ enhancing country competitiveness. Advocacy is a relentless exercise and AUTM should continue to bring to the fore the needs of the profession and the needs of institutions we serve in harnessing the power of knowledge transfer. Globally these efforts will create enlarged impact with other associations learning from such efforts.
Is there anything else you would like AUTM Members to know about you before they vote?
I would like to reiterate my strong desire to contribute to the professional profile of technology transfer practitioners and get the global investors attention to the impact we create. To this end, my strong entrepreneurial strength, and the experience of engaging with some of the best-known academic institutions of the world in advancing their global agenda are the key abilities I would like to bring to this position. There is a world of opportunity for AUTM and the private sector to gain mutually in the emerging scenario of the pragmatic convergence of innovation investment by the public and private networks. I will thrive to harness this synergy to the full extent during my tenure.